Monday, April 9, 2012


I'm so lucky to have Kate Kaynak be super awesome and co-host The Jacket Copy Contest with me.  Not only is this a great learning experience for everyone who enters, but an epic opportunity, too.  Kate is an editor for Spencer Hill Press, which has published awesome books.  Go check them out here.  Who better than an editor to give a partial critique (BTW, that is the prize).

Not only is Kate an editor for my publisher, Spencer Hill Press, but she's the author of The Ganzfield Books: Minder, Adversary, Legacy, Accused, Operative, and Soulmate, which won Best YA Series.  If you haven't yet, it's probably a series you want to check out.  I'll even be nice and give you her Goodreads link.  And if you're a stalker like me, you can find Kate hanging out at her blog, on twitter, and facebook.

Remember, a jacket copy is not a query, but a description of a novel as a whole.  If you haven't yet, take the time to visit your local bookstore, pull random books off the shelf, and read the jacket copy.  Ask yourself: "Is this a book I'd read?" or "Is this a book I'd never, ever bother to open up."  Compare them to see what it was you liked or didn't like, and why.

A jacket copy is one of the main selling points of a novel. 

Just to prove it, I'm gonna give you a scenario.

Picture yourself in a bookstore.  The scent of hardbacks and pages riding the light breeze of the air conditioner.  You're browsing in your favorite section, searching through hundreds and hundreds of titles and book-covers for that certain...*gasp*...there it is.  One of the most intriguing covers ever (I'm thinking it's a striking blue eye with a reflection of a butterfly). Your fingers lightly touch the spine of this novel you must have.  You pull it free from the bookshelf, yielding it like a lost holy relic.  

And what's the first thing you do?  

If you guessed open it up to read the summary, then you're probably right.  If that short description caught your attention, you're probably holding your new find to your chest like a newborn baby.  If not, then you slide the book right back into the place where it originally rested on the shelf.  Left behind as you scour the remaining books for that one find.

A jacket copy is a selling tool for you, the author.  In thirty seconds, you have to build your story to a level above all the other books vying for the reader's attention.  So, Kate and I thought it'd prove to be a great experience for you to write one for your book.

Your job is to sell Kate, (a.k.a. the reader) your book in 250 words or less.  Pretend she's browsing the shelves of your local bookstore.  

Here are the rules to enter the contest.

1) You have to follow my blog.  My contest, so I get to do that.

2) Post the jacket copy of your completed novel in the comment section as such:

Author: (Your name)

Title: (The title of your novel)

Jacket Copy: (The brief description of your novel written to entice the reader to buy in 250 words or less.)

3) If you have entered my other contests and even if you won, you can still enter this one, too.

4) You can enter up to two jacket copies for two different novels. 

5) The contest will close Saturday, April 14th at 12:00 midnight (central).  Um.. April 14th of 2012.

6) That's it.  There will be no comments or anything else with this contest.  I might do something fun like set up a poll for each entry for you to vote for your favorite jacket copy while we wait.   

7) If you have a question, please feel free to post in the comment section. 

PRIZE: A partial ten-page critique donated by Editor Extraordinaire, Kate Kaynak.

I'd like to take a moment and invite you to Goodreads to checkout PERFECTION, release date May 2013, here.  


  1. Thanks for hosting the contest! Will it close after a certain number of entries or just stay open until the 14th?

  2. You can keep those entries coming until I cry like a little girl and beg you all to stop.

  3. ooo... going to brush up on mine now!

  4. LOL! As Kate said, keep all entries coming in. :)

  5. I hope this is where we post the entries. If not sorry.

    GENRE: YA Paranormal Romance
    AUTHOR: HollyD

    Anne Marie Robinson was a typical teenager until the day she set her brother’s homework on fire, with her thoughts. Anne Marie’s parents yank her out of the Catholic school she’s endured all these years and unceremoniously shipped off to a school for freaks – like her.

    The school for paranormal is her new home and one she must learn to navigate, fast. To fit in and impress the hot guy in her Algebra class, Anne Marie’s use of her newly discovered powers will invite unwanted attention from someone or something desperate to take them from her.

    Tyler Hudson is desperate to stay away from the pretty new student, Anne Marie. She is a distraction he can’t afford. As the only son of the Queen of the Vampires and Satan his life and afterlife are already too complicated.

    Tyler’s suspicious when his long absent father returns eager for father/son reconciliation. When Tyler stumbles across his father’s evil plans for the world center around Anne Marie, he’ll have to choose - take his rightful place among his father’s evil army of night dwellers or save the life of the only girl who could rescue his not-so-evil heart before it is shattered for eternity.

    1. Yep, this is where the entries go.

      Good Luck

  6. TITLE: Passing
    GENRE: YA Paranormal
    AUTHOR: Stephanie Lynn Smith

    Matt shouldn’t be alive. One year ago, he stood face to face with a killer, and watched helplessly as his best friend’s father died. He doesn’t know why he was spared – or why no one believes him when he identifies the killer, whom the police claim is a dead man.

    When Matt sees the killer in a crowd and has a nervous breakdown, his parents have him referred to counseling, but there are other things on his mind, like his increasingly distant relationship with his best friend, David, who refuses to mourn for his father, and the racial barrier between he and Sinead, the girl he’s loved since the day she taught him he didn’t have to be a fighter to impress her.

    It’s senior year, a new start, and Matt is resolved to leave it all behind, accepting a ride from Sinead to a party, where he intends to ask her out.

    Waking up in the car after the crash, the first thing Matt notices is that Sinead isn’t there. Neither he nor the other passengers have been hurt, despite the car flipping down a heavily wooded ditch. Unable to explain how, he knows that Sinead has just died in the hospital. As time stands still, the teens race to stop the person determined to claim his spot in the afterlife by taking Sinead’s. Matt has never been a fighter, but he won’t lose her if there’s anything he can do - even if means making the ultimate sacrifice.

  7. Hi and thanks for hosting the contest!

    Author: Katherine Amabel
    Title: The Hourglass Bridge
    Jacket copy:

    At sixteen, Diamond has never done anything more adventurous than stray from her homework roster – that is until Arthur, a dangerously chivalrous teenage wizard, summons her into the sixteenth century, expecting her to save his life.

    Arthur is about to inherit the legendary power that protects his hidden, magical civilization. An immortal witch seeking revenge against his ancestors plans to destroy him for it. And a cryptic warning says if Diamond can’t protect him, she and her twin brother will be next…

    It just leaves out the part where this may all be Diamond’s fault.

    Desperate to keep her brother safe, even if he is a pain in the butt who probably deserves time on the rack, Diamond offers to hide Arthur in the modern world until he is powerful enough to fight. But she never expected her perfectly scheduled existence to descend into a double life of sword fights, covert magic lessons, and fighting to control the destructive forces which soon start running through her veins. And when sixteenth century spies attack Diamond’s ancestors, and her brother’s saintly new powers make him the most vulnerable target of all, she realises she must go back and finish the war she started – even if it means succumbing to the dark, new side of herself.

    AUTHOR: MarcyKate Connolly
    GENRE: YA Science Fiction

    Getting into a car accident was the second to last thing Maggie Lyons expected on prom night. The last thing she expected? Finding out she’s part machine.

    Turns out there are a lot of things Maggie didn’t suspect. Like the fact she almost died when she was four. And her parents let a stranger replace her broken parts with technology more advanced than anything on the Syfy channel. Or that her geekoid next door neighbor, Tommy, is hiding in the backseat when she runs away in the middle of the night.

    But that’s just the way her weekend is going.

    Now Maggie and Tommy are on the lam in a stolen car, running from the police, the doctor who's on to her condition, and the bald dude with a seriously bad attitude tailing them. Tommy'd give anything for her newly-manifested strength, but Maggie’s not so keen—even a tickle fight could turn deadly. She's determined to find her Maker and get her human parts restored. As they follow clues on a cross-country road trip, Tommy totally cramps her style, but he's beginning to distract her from the guy who wrapped his car around a tree on prom night. That’s a problem too—geek love is definitely not part of Maggie’s plan. If only she can find her Maker, maybe she can go back to life as normal.

    Then Maggie meets the others like her.

    Turns out, there’s a lot more to be afraid of than winding up under a microscope.

  9. Author: Michelle Reynoso
    Title: En

    When seventeen-year-old Faith kisses Thomas Hanson in the school parking lot, she sends the cars careening into each other.

    Faith’s life is far from normal. She is gifted - - able to manipulate energy - - but she has not learned how to control it, especially when lip-locked with Thomas, the boy who represents everything would-be normal in her life. Up until now, Faith has been able to keep it all a secret, her powers and her connection to Enlitra - Earth’s sister world, but that is about to change.

    Faith is being hunted. Belial, an enigmatic from Enlitra, is bent on collecting her energy, her En. He will destroy her family and friends to get to her, and the only way to keep them safe is for Faith to elicit their help and share her secret. But how much of her secret is too much, before she is labeled a freak, and left completely alone? Faith must decide who to trust, and she has to make a stand against Belial.

    Now, if she only knew how to control her power, she might just have a chance to save her friends, save the world, and return to a normal life.

  10. Author: Carrie-Anne Brownian

    Title: The Very First

    Genre: Lower YA historical

    When Katherine Brandt, newly nicknamed Sparky, immigrates in 1938, her dearest wish is to become a real American girl. Before she can realize her dream, though, she’s going to have to learn the ins and outs of the unusual town and group of friends she’s joined, both of them governed by a strange quasi-religion of sorts that's been passed down for over a thousand years.

    Sparky is taken under the wing of Cinnimin Filliard, who teaches her a thing or two not only about American life, but also the strange town she’s come to. The girls quickly become best friends, and while Sparky wants to believe Cinni is steering her right, she's a bit taken aback by her conflicting attitudes. How is it possible that this nice, intelligent girl is the same person who often cops a superior attitude to her so-called friends just because she was voted Most Popular Girl?

    Sparky will do almost anything, as she navigates her way through American life, to become a real American girl and stop giving herself away as a greenhorn. Anything, that is, but compromise her Jewish faith. Will she ever be able to pull off being Sparky to her friends while remaining Kätchen to her family and staying true to her values?

  11. Author: Margo Rowder

    Title: Thirty Decibels

    Genre: Futuristic YA Thriller

    At the ceremony on Ava’s fifteenth birthday, the candle on her cake will determine whether she’s a Whisperer or a Leader.

    Though everyone says it’s “written on the wind,” Ava won’t let some weird fairy-tale tradition control her fate. She blows out her candle with a fan hidden behind her back, making herself a Whisperer: one who must not sing solos with the choir, cry or laugh in public, or speak louder than 30 decibels. Because a fearful society is a controllable one.

    The Whisper Rules have kept the world quiet, low tech, and catastrophe-free, ever since the social-media spread of food shortage rumors caused the Great Scream and killed half the population. But Ava can’t seem to fit in with any part of this society, so she opts out by not speaking at all. As she looks and listens more closely, she sees cracks in the system and hears rumblings of change to come.

    Ava finds a few glimmers of light in the Rules: she can still sing with the town choir, next to a tenor who makes her pulse race and her heart strong. She also escapes regularly to the library, the only place Whisperers can hold authority. While discovering others’ writings and recordings there, Ava finds her own voice. When her mother’s high-powered politico boss plans to silence Whisperers in unspeakable new ways, Ava is ready to come clean about everything – in front of an audience of thousands – and take a stand.

  12. I am not a writer, I just read their I just wanted to stop in say hi, and that this looks awesome

  13. Authors: Jessie Harrell & Nikki Katz
    Genre: mythological/paranormal YA

    A timeless love. An endless curse. Which one will survive the summer?

    Seventeen-year-old Wren Lassiter hadn’t planned on starting her summer vacation being plowed over by a speedboat off the shore of Lake Huron. But when Chase Regas accidentally runs her aground, she quickly realizes that a busted shoulder is the least of her worries. Chase reveals that he and Wren are descendants of Cetus, an ancient Greek sea monster who cursed his children to avenge his death. Despite living countless lives, they haven’t succeeded in ending the curse for the past four thousand years - and the clock is ticking once again. Chase has only two weeks to murder the right stranger or, as a male offspring, he’ll change into a sea serpent himself.

    As Wren’s memories from her past lives return, she realizes that Chase was once her soul mate -- hundreds of years ago and in a life where she wasn't strong enough to save him. Determined to free her long-lost love and end the centuries-old curse, Wren immerses herself in the hunt, only to find way more than she expected Beneath the Surface.

  14. Author: Ashley Maker
    Genre: YA historical fantasy romance

    Falling in love isn’t easy when it’s challenged by a brutal duke, a murderous king, and the threat of war between kingdoms. But true love doesn’t care about convenience, and it certainly has no aversion to danger.

    When Princess Araya flees an arranged marriage to Duke Peter, her only goal is freedom, even if that means she must evade her father’s armed guards—men under strict orders to carry out her capture. Maybe even kill her. She never counted on falling in love with her rescuer, the one man she can never have an open relationship with.

    Prince Thoredmund, the neighboring kingdom’s crown prince, quickly learns that the role of prince in shining armor isn’t quite what it’s made out to be. After a rash decision, he now must deal with the consequences of harboring a fugitive princess, especially when visitors arrive at the castle, spewing kidnapping accusations and demanding Araya’s return. Thor realizes he’s going to have to make a choice: risk his kingdom or turn in the girl he has sworn to protect.

    Together in a sheltered forest, the young royals try to forget the outside world, but the outside world has not forgotten about them.

  15. Author: Bonnie Rae
    Title: Nether Bound
    Genre: YA Paranormal Romance

    Seventeen year old Ava Walker has everything a girl could ask for. She’s captain of the cheer squad, has tons of friends, and could easily have any guy she wants. Being popular is easy.

    Lying about her entire life, on the other hand, isn’t.

    Since she was little, Ava has had a connection with the dearly departed. She knows seeing dead people is abnormal, but they never try to communicate, so she does her best to turn a blind eye. The older she gets, the worse her visions become. With more and more ghosts showing up, her secret is on the verge of driving her mad.

    The only person Ava ever trusted is her best friend, Devon. Only, she hasn’t really talked to him in years and lately he hasn’t been acting like himself.

    To make things worse, her evil stepfather, Mark, is hitting the bottle harder and harder. Ava hates the alcoholic psycho her mother married a few years ago. To him, beating women is a sport. Lately, the beatings are getting worse. Ava fears it won’t be long before her mother is among the ghosts invading her life.

    She wishes Mark would just die. When he suddenly does, her life changes forever.

    Just when she thinks her family is safe, Mark shows back up.

    Not all ghosts are silent, and dear old Daddy wants some serious revenge.

    Be careful what you wish for...

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  17. Author: Elizabeth Prats
    Title: Witch Country
    Genre: MG Fantasy

    For 14-year-old Lucas finding out that he has to betray his best friend sucks. Toss in a crazy father who kidnapped his mother, an overly competitive sister, and ya know, being Exiled because of his strange want to suck souls. It’s total discrimination. Yup, life sucks. (No pun intended).

    Still, time is ticking and Lucas has to make a choice: betray his best friend in order to get his mother back or lose her for good.

  18. Author: Larissa Hardesty
    Title: Lure
    Genre: Upper MG Paranormal

    Fifteen-year-old half-Lakota Mitch would rather pound a nail through his thumb than hang out with his grandma and the strange Medicine Man she always has over. But when everyone in his small South Dakota town starts obsessing over a book, a sense of forboding overtakes him. He hopes the craze will pass quickly. But LURE is no ordinary book—soon teachers are stopping class to read, and Mitch's mom forgets to make dinner as she turns the pages.

    Before long, it seems only Mitch and his best friend Jen have avoided getting sucked in—and the situation has become more dire. The streets are empty. People aren't eating or drinking. When Mitch's dad is injured, he continues to read through the pain, and the hospital is full of nurses and doctors absorbed in LURE, their jobs forgotten. Even as Mitch and Jen realize the town is reading itself to death, Jen succumbs to the book's pull, leaving Mitch alone. He must embrace his heritage in order to find LURE's secret ... or lose everyone he loves.

  19. Author: Jess Lawson
    Title: Jeremiah Copperpot
    Genre: YA Historical Fantasy

    Jacket Flap:

    After her father is secretly murdered by his successor, 15-year-old Princess Noni chooses to go rogue rather than face bitter silence in a convent. A talent for accents and disguises helps her blend into the twelve wells of the Kingdom of Doorish, from Well Six’s nobility to the fish spiners of Well Eleven. Slipping in and out of identities, she depends on coin stashes and a hidden costume trunk to stay undetected while planning King-to-be Renart Duchamp’s ruin.

    REVENGE is her only goal.

    After taking shelter with a clever dockboy, she discovers a truth more sinister than the price being offered for her dead-or-alive return. Duchamp is setting up an alliance with a group from the unknown East, and his plans for Doorish have more to do with his military background than loyalty to the Kingdom. Setting aside personal mourning, Noni’s vows of vengeance evolve to include justice for all of Doorish. Now she’ll need to create an alias that will inspire the masses to resist the incoming King, and find proof to convince the Royal Council to suspend Duchamp’s appointment before Coronation Day. When a dangerous encounter forces her to take on the persona of Jeremiah Copperpot, a gutsy peasant boy, Noni may have found a misfit capable of accomplishing both.

    REBELLION is her only hope.

    But there are traitors in her midst, who know of her secret identities and grow more tempted by rewards and clandestine offers of power as each day passes.

    BETRAYAL is her only guarantee.

    *Sorry about the cheesy ALL-CAPS~ I couldn't figure out how to do italics in the Comment section :)

  20. Author: Larissa Hardesty
    Title: That Succs
    Genre: YA Paranormal Romance

    Fifteen-year-old Emmy Duivel believes in true love: heart flutters, first kisses, candlelight dinners, even the crazy idea that love lasts forever. Unfortunately, she's stuck in a world of non-believers--her mom and best friend’s philosophy is “men are for fun, not forever.” Invisible in their shadows and pinned under her mom’s one-night stand only rules, Emmy has kept her romance novel collection—and crush on hot classmate, Paul—hidden.

    But then the school's MVP, Jake Miller, asks her out. To her own surprise, she agrees, figuring her first date is bound to be a disaster. Her mom and her best friend tell her to take it slow and avoid kissing, and even Paul warns her to be careful on the date. However, Emmy gets carried away and kisses Jake--and he almost dies. Confused and scared she finds herself being consoled by the one person she didn’t expect--Paul.

    But even as things heat up between her and Paul, Emmy demands answers from her mother, who explains the devastating truth: she’s not human and there is a price to pay for it. One human life a month for the rest of her life. And to make matters worse, the one person she thought she could trust has secrets of his own that could destroy Emmy and everything she holds dear.

    Finding love is hard. Finding out you can never have it, because you're a monster? That succs.

  21. Author: Kathryn Sheridan Kupanoff
    Genre: YA Camelot-punk romance

    Eighteen-year-old Vivienne doesn't care for being Guinevere's lady-in-waiting. It’s nothing against the future queen of Camelot; she’s rather lovely. Vivienne would simply rather take to Merlin's tower to learn about the mechanics of clockwork inventions. Especially now that Lancelot's new squire, Marcus, has captured Vivienne’s heart with his violet eyes and contagious energy. As it's a rather painful situation when the object of one's affection is about to take a vow of chastity, the clock tower is by far a preferred distraction.

    But when the king’s sorceress sister, Morgan le Fay, threatens the kingdom, Vivienne is torn. Cursed by the sorceress, Merlin needs his apprentice’s help to create the perfect weapon: a revolutionary blend of steam-powered machinery and the mystical science of alchemy. Vivienne could help him build it, or she could give up on Camelot, return Marcus’s declaration of love, and run away with him instead. But if Marcus gives up on knighthood, Vivienne would be to blame for the consequences: disaster for Camelot and its only hope, the terrifying weapon that dwells in the secret catacombs, waiting to be awakened.


    Sophia O’Riley is a seventeen year old with a little problem; she’s never been on a date. That’s thanks to her overprotective big brother, a member of the local Irish gang. When Sophia is partnered with the cute boy in her Social Studies class, she realizes she’d do anything to be with him, even ignoring her brother’s warning to stay clear of the rival gang member.

    Tyrell Williams is a third generation member of the Black Scorpions. Being a member of the gang is the only life he knows. Tyrell has had a crush on Sophia since freshman year. Working on a class project together he actually has to talk to her. Before long they discover they have more in common than either believed.

    When their families discover them in a compromising position all hell will break loose. Sophia and Tyrell will have to choose their love or their families.

  23. Wow--we have a bunch of great entries! I've got my work cut out for me.

  24. I don't know if it's over yet, but just in case, here's mine.

    Author: Eliza Tilton
    Title: Soulspark

    When Jessica catches her Christian boyfriend kissing her arch-nemesis, she runs to the last person she’d expect--her jerky stepbrother Jason, but he has a secret and it’s one that will change everything.

    1. I'm so sorry Eliza, the contest is closed.

      Please keep an eye on my blog, I will have another contest and would love to see your entry.

  25. When should we here Kate's decision BTW?

  26. Keep a look out for sometime next week. :)

  27. This comment has been removed by the author.


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